Civil court cases move forward in Lake Country woman’s death

Lately-filed civil court docket paperwork are shedding new gentle on the occasions that unfolded across the time of the loss of life of a Lake Nation girl whose husband was later charged along with her second-degree homicide.

When Arlene Westervelt’s physique was pulled from Okanagan Lake after a day of canoeing along with her husband Bert Westervelt, authorities handled her loss of life as an accident.

Whereas Arlene’s household suspects Bert killed his spouse, he has all the time maintained his innocence.

Learn extra:
What happened to Arlene Westervelt?

Regardless of her household’s calls of foul play, it wasn’t till Arlene’s divorce lawyer stepped ahead that Mounties took a more in-depth take a look at the case.

The identification of the divorce lawyer has all the time been a thriller to Arlene’s household till now.

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A decide ordered RCMP to launch Arlene’s divorce lawyer’s identify after her household’s counsel argued that their proof is essential to a lawsuit launched towards Bert.

Learn extra:
Okanagan man released from murder charge in wife’s death

Nevertheless, as a result of attorney-client privilege continues even after loss of life, Arlene’s household will nonetheless have to file one other software requesting for the divorce lawyer’s proof to be heard by the court docket.

The lawsuit alleges that Bert killed his spouse and is arguing that he shouldn’t have inherited Arlene’s belongings.

Bert denies killing Arlene and is arguing that her mom, who launched the lawsuit, was not even an alternate beneficiary within the will.

His lawyer can be arguing that the court docket has an obligation to guard solicitor-client privilege except the shopper waives it.

Cory Armour, Bert’s lawyer, declined an interview. Nevertheless, he stated that Mounties weren’t opposing the discharge of Arlene’s divorce lawyer’s identify — they simply wished a decide to log out on it.

Learn extra:
Arlene Westervelt’s family, friends hold Kelowna, B.C. rally calling for coroner’s inquest

Though Bert Westervelt was charged with second-degree homicide practically three years after Arlene’s loss of life, the Crown out of the blue stayed the cost, and the case by no means went to trial.

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The household believes the explanation for that call might partly be as a result of some officers had been hoping to cowl up the actions of a senior Mountie related to the case.

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Who’s policing the police?

Then-Inspector Brian Gateley was an acquaintance of Bert’s accused of interfering in Arlene’s loss of life investigation and having her cellphone hacked utilizing RCMP assets.

The civil paperwork filed by the federal government declare that Gateley informed Sgt. Craig Andrichuk, who can be named within the civil swimsuit, that he had been buddies with the couple for years however by no means seen any proof of violence or abuse.

In keeping with the court docket paperwork, earlier than Gateley helped Bert unlock the telephone, he referred to as Andrichuk to substantiate whether or not or not the RCMP had any curiosity in Arlene’s cellphone knowledge.

“Sgt. Andrichuk responded that the RCMP had no motive to grab Arlene’s cellphone, overview it, or deny entry to it, since at this level the RCMP had been helping the coroner in a non-criminal investigation,” in keeping with the civil response.

Gateley directed considered one of his subordinates to unlock Arlene’s cellphone utilizing a program referred to as Cellebrite, in keeping with the federal government declare.

“At Supt. Gateley’s instructions, the subordinate then returned the cellphone to Bert together with its passcode,” in keeping with court docket paperwork.

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Learn extra:
‘Her story matters’: Family of Lake Country woman shares new details, renews calls for justice

RCMP later initiated an inside code of conduct investigation towards Gateley.

In keeping with the federal government’s civil response, in February 2019, RCMP discovered that Gateley engaged in a possible battle of curiosity between his skilled obligations and his personal pursuits and that he misused RCMP IT gear.

The civil response claims that no motion ought to lie towards Andrichuk.

Gateley is just not named as one of many individuals who filed a response to the lawsuit, and his lawyer didn’t reply to a request for remark.

The previous Mountie is now in a brand new job on the province’s organized crime company.

Learn extra:
‘They remain in the dark’: Family of woman who died on Okanagan Lake calls for coroner’s inquest

B.C’s Workplace of the Police Grievance Commissioner confirms it’s now investigating Gateley’s conduct associated to his current employment with that company, though it gained’t say why.

Gateley’s lawyer has beforehand stated his shopper unequivocally denies any wrongdoing and believes the authorized course of will vindicate his actions.

© 2021 International Information, a division of Corus Leisure Inc.

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